With more and more essential processes taking place online, blockchain technology could play an important role in the education sector in the near future.
Like many sectors, the education sector has been forced to rapidly change and adapt over the last couple of years. Education providers (public and private) at all levels have had to shift teaching and learning processes online at an unprecedented rate.
The increased role of eLearning platforms and videoconferencing apps in education is well-known, but there are other technologies that could also shape the future of education, such as blockchain technology.
What is blockchain technology?
A blockchain is a form of DLT, or Distribution Ledger Technology. DLTs are decentralised ledgers that are harder to breach than traditional databases. While the most well-known application is the logging of cryptocurrency transactions, blockchains can log many types of data.
Other uses of blockchains include:
- Authenticating personal identities (e.g., records, CVs, birth certificates, etc)
- Issuing or revoking digital certificates
- Tracking the ownership and registration of property or vehicles
- Facilitating and registering digital votes so that they cannot be tampered with or registered more than once each
What issues is the education sector currently facing?
Online learning has many benefits, and its role in education has been increasing gradually for many years. However, the pandemic accelerated this increase to a speed that many organisations were unprepared for. Workflows and processes need to be effective and functional, yet programs and applications must be simple enough for all educators and learners to use regardless of technical knowledge.
With course content, students’ work, and (perhaps most crucially) sensitive personal data all stored online, the need for robust cybersecurity is greater than ever. As most education providers work with minors, protecting their data has also become a crucial safeguarding concern.
How could blockchain technology tackle these issues?
Online platforms like SICCAR eliminate the need for tiresome paperwork and enable the intuitive remote sharing of data. However, where the platform’s blockchain technology really stands out in comparison to other technologies is security. Because a blockchain is a shared ledger, no individual can delete or tamper with essential data without unanimous consensus.
As all data is encrypted, unauthorised access is much more difficult. SICCAR even offers granular access management, enabling administrators to grant access permissions to sensitive data (e.g., student records) only to certain individuals. Blockchain technology can also eliminate many of the logistical, security, and admin tasks associated with students moving between institutions. SICCAR’s platform is specifically designed to address and resolve common concerns regarding sharing data between organisations.
Certificates and diplomas can also be stored securely on a blockchain and accessed by prospective employers using links granted by administrators. In fact, MIT has already started putting this into practice!
Blockchain technology looks set to disrupt almost every sector over the coming decade, and education is no exception! Thankfully, this is likely to mean tighter security, smoother processes, and reduced challenges for administrators, educators, and learners.
Organisations can use blockchain technology to overcome the logistical and security issues facing the education sector and be much better prepared for the changes of the future. To see for yourself how a blockchain-based data sharing platform can benefit your organisation, why not try SICCAR’s free 30-day-trial?